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Last Updated on June 24, 2019
Many of us have suffered from a digestive complaint at one time or another. There may have been times when you have suffered from diarrhoea, constipation, and feelings of being bloated, for example. You might have felt heartburn too, or had abdominal pains occasionally.
While many of these problems are temporary and can be alleviated by over-the-counter medications from your local pharmacy, you should still see your doctor if they persist.
You should also make changes in your lifestyle and diet, as quite often, we suffer from bad digestive health because of the foods we eat and the way we live our lives.
Here are just a few of the things you can do to improve your digestive health.
#1: Add more fiber to your diet
Studies have shown that a high-fiber diet is essential for good digestive health. The more whole grains, vegetables, and fruits you eat, the less likely you are to suffer from constipation after eating. A high-fiber diet can also prevent digestive conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and hemorrhoids. Therefore, find ways to add more fiber to your diet throughout the day. This might include adding more veggies to your dinner plate if you have thus far been resistant to them, and snacking on fruit, nuts, and seeds, rather than other items that are bad for your digestive health, such as those overloaded with artificial sugar.
#2: Use digestive health supplements
Alongside a healthy diet, check your supermarket, local pharmacy or health food store for any product that could improve your digestive health. As examples, probiotics, peppermint oil, Chamomile tea and ginger are just some of the products that can relieve bowel problems and improve digestion. You might also consider RESTORE, a new generation supplement that claims to improve both brain and gut health. Check the link and consider adding it to your virtual shopping basket. If in doubt about any product you see online or at your local store, do your research, and check with your doctor before adding anything to your regular diet.
#3: Increase your fluid intake.
And by fluid, we are talking about water, fruit juices, herbal teas, and non-caffeinated beverages (sorry if you thought we were about to condone drinking more alcohol). We are also referring to food types that are high in water, such as melons, grapefruit, cucumber, and celery. Low-fluid intake is often the reason behind constipation, so for better digestive health, remember to stay hydrated throughout the day, with a particular focus on drinking more water. And pay special attention to mealtimes, as to avoid bloating and other digestive problems, it is important to increase your fluid intake to push the food you have eaten through your intestines. Remember to get up and go for a walk after eating too, as a little exercise will also speed up the digestion process after eating.
#4: Cut out your worst habits
Did you know that smoking can increase the risk of you developing acid reflux? This terrible habit has also been associated with the development of stomach ulcers, alongside those other diseases that are not necessarily associated with digestive health, such as cancer and heart disease. Those of you with a penchant for alcohol might also experience digestive problems, including the aforementioned stomach ulcers and acid reflux, as well as heartburn and a range of inflammatory bowel diseases. And if you’re a bit of a late night snacker, know that going to bed after eating will increase the chances of heartburn and indigestion, as lying down does not help your body digest food properly. None of these habits are particularly good for your health anyway, but in terms of your digestive health, you now have another incentive to cut back on them.
#5: Manage your stress levels
We appreciate this is easier said than done, but it is important to find ways to manage stress taking over your life. There are consequences for your mental and physical health if you don’t, and within the latter, this includes those aspects related to your digestive system, as stress can trigger stomach pains, nausea, and other signs of stomach discomfort. You can learn more by reading this article on stress effects and the body. Exercise, meditation, and finding ways to have more fun in your life are just some of the ways you can manage your stress levels. You should also speak to your doctor for further advice if you are feeling the effects of stress on your life.
So, for better digestive health, start to improve your diet, drink more fluids, and look for ways to manage your stress levels. Cut out your bad habits too, and replace them with better habits that will improve your overall health. By taking these steps, you will do wonders for your digestive system, though as we suggested, remember to speak to your doctor if you regularly experience problems, especially if you suffer from them after following the steps we have listed here.